4

T/SMM Brought a Classic Noise Show to Glob

^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

When some people think about noise as a genre, they think of harsh noise. But this show was somewhere else on the spectrum. Using samples, guitar, processed vocals, theremin and beats, Tom Smith and Mark Morgan, performing as T/SMM, created an immersive environment with their own musical language, enhanced by visual accompaniment. Not unlike Pere Ubu circa Dubhousing or early Chrome, but even more abstract, T/SMM had songs that followed their own musical logic.

See also: Noise Music Can Be Accessible and Inclusive, as Denver Noise Fest Proved

When T/SMM closed out the night, it felt almost like an arty punk show, because it wasn't just a lot of knob fiddling. The duo asked that the lights be turned off, which is just as well, because the projections provided ample illumination. Morgan's guitar work sounded more like synth except that he had more fine-tuned control over the tonal range because of the way his finger interacted physically with the strings. Both he and Smith used various vocal sounds to transform their voices into another instrument. Some pop artists use a vocoder to give an alien twist to their vocals. T/SMM used the vocoder to create texture.

The set lasted half an hour, tops, but in that time, T/SMM showed how noise can have a compositional element, rather than chaos to shred an audience's eardrums. With not very many noise shows happening in Denver of late, getting to see that sort of thing done in a way that could be enjoyed by people other than noise-niks was a great reminder that this seemingly forbidding genre could earn an audience among people who have come around to melodic ambient music.

• BACKBEAT'S GREATEST HITS • - Seven of Denver's Most Underrated Bands - Wolf Eyes' John Olson Talks About the Importance of Music Communities - Why DIY Venues Are Vital Are Vital to the Health of the Entire Music Scene - DIY or Die: Why Denver Need Under-The-Radar, All-Ages Arts Spaces




If you'd like to contact me, Tom Murphy, on Twitter, my handle is @simianthinker.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.